Here’s someone to keep an eye on with regards to the Golden Knights:
Grubauer, currently employed as Braden Holtby‘s trusty backup in Washington, could be in play when Vegas starts roster construction this summer. A pending RFA, he qualifies as a goalie to be exposed — Holtby will obviously be protected — and should the situation change, there’s always the possibility of Vegas targeting Grubauer in a potential trade.
There are connections in Sin City.
Vegas GM George McPhee was the boss in Washington when it took Grubauer in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. What’s more, McPhee hired former Caps goalie coach, Dave Prior, to oversee things in Vegas.
Prior has spoken highly of his former pupil.
“Philipp does things effortlessly,” Prior said, per the Washington Post. “That’s the talent that not everybody is lucky enough to be equipped with. He also stays between the puck and the net instinctively.”
Grubauer ticks several boxes for Vegas. He’s young (25), projects to be affordable (currently carrying a $750,000 cap hit) and looks as though he’s ready to audition for a No. 1 gig.
Currently in the conversation for the NHL’s best backup, Grubauer is enjoying a great season. He’s 10-3-2 with a .931 save percentage, 1.98 GAA and three shutouts.
Of course, Vegas speculation is just noise to the German ‘tender. His main focus is on the Caps.
“I don’t care right now,” Grubauer said of the potential to become a starter, per the Washington Times. “I’m just looking to help this team and win the games I play and help the team get the points. When Holts needs a rest, I’m confident that I can step in.”